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Community Engagement in Environmental Assessment for Resource Development: Benefits, Enduring Concerns, Opportunities for Improvement

Community Engagement in Environmental Assessment for Resource Development: Benefits, Enduring Concerns, Opportunities for Improvement by Aniekan Udofia, Bram Noble, Greg Poelzer

This paper discusses contemporary issues surrounding the efficiency of environmental assessment (EA) and the effectiveness of community engagement with focus on Canadian practice in the last two decades. Based on a review of the EA literature, we provide a brief overview of the benefits of effective engagement in EA processes. We then identify and discuss three enduring challenges to effective engagement amidst increasing pressures for a more efficient EA process, namely capacity, streamlining of EA processes, and the timing of EA and engagement in the resource development process. The paper concludes with key recommendations to ensure community engagement as a platform for enhancing increased inclusivity in environmental decision making. The paper is part of a special collection of brief discussion papers presented at the 2014 Walleye Seminar held in Northern Saskatchewan, which explored consultation and engagement with northern communities and stakeholders in resource development.

Click on the following link to access the full article: http://journals.sfu.ca/nr/index.php/nr/article/view/392/422.

Greg Poelzer

Greg M. Poelzer

Executive Chair, ICNGD and Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar

Greg Poelzer is the Founding Director and Executive Chair
of the University of Saskatchewan International Centre for
Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) and current Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholar. Greg is also the former Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the University of the Arctic and currently leads the UArctic Thematic Network on Northern Governance. His research focuses on comparative politics and policy as it relates to northern regions and to Aboriginal-state relations.

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